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BSOD Makes Appearance at Olympic Opening Ceremonies 521

Whiteox writes "A BSOD was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium during the grand finale to the four-hour spectacular at the Olympics. Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing chose to go with XP instead of Vista because of the complexity of the IT functions at the Games. His comment on Vista? 'If it's not stable, it could have some problems,' he said. Evidently Bill Gates attended the opening ceremony, so he must have witnessed it."
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BSOD Makes Appearance at Olympic Opening Ceremonies

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  • well (Score:5, Funny)

    by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:25AM (#24568147)

    They paid 40 billion for that ceremony. I can't see this improving their opinion of Microsoft much.

    • Re:well (Score:5, Funny)

      by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:26AM (#24568171) Homepage Journal

      They paid 40 billion for that ceremony.

      But was it a pirated copy of Windows?

    • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:27AM (#24568183) Homepage
      I can't see this improving their opinion of Microsoft much.

      In fairness to Microsoft, blue screens are normally due to bad hardware drivers. Whatever that thing actually was, it certainly wasn't a normal monitor and I'll bet the drivers are rather specific. And the less people use them, the fewer bugs are found.

      • Re:well (Score:5, Funny)

        by The End Of Days ( 1243248 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:31AM (#24568263)

        That's no excuse. No installation of Linux has ever crashed in the history of the universe. Microsoft should be held to no less a standard.

        • Re:well (Score:5, Funny)

          by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:57AM (#24568713) Homepage Journal

          A Linux installation crashes if and only if it doesn't respect it's user.

        • Re:well (Score:5, Funny)

          by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:58AM (#24568743) Journal

          exactly I hate this crap from Microsoft. It should be able to do like Linux and when there's a hardware problem it just reroutes power through the main deflector to fix it.

      • Re:well (Score:5, Funny)

        by TechnoBunny ( 991156 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:37AM (#24568377)
        'In fairness to Microsoft'

        What are you, some kind of shill?
      • What's the motivation to write better hardware drivers if any time the system blue screens, people will just blame the OS anyway?

        • by mhall119 ( 1035984 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:57AM (#24569811) Homepage Journal

          Good point, Windows should identify the offending driver, read it's manufacturer info, then shame the creator on the BSoD.

          "A fatal exception has occurred because CheapHardware's Crappy802.11g device driver was written by mildly retarded gibbons."

          • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @02:05PM (#24571707)

            This has actually been proposed a number of times (without the personal attacks), but rejected for two reasons:

            1. Potential lawsuits from the driver developers
            2. Inability to be sure of the actual cause of the crash in kernel mode

            The latter problem is more important. Problem is, kernel mode code can do *anything*, including write to other modules' memory space. So if a driver "baddisplay.sys" accidentally wrote to an uninitialized pointer that just happened to point to the memory space of "goodprinter.sys", but didn't fail as a result (remember, no real memory protection in kernel mode), and "goodprinter.sys" later reads the screwed up memory and fails, it will look like a problem in "goodprinter.sys", even though "goodprinter.sys" behaved correctly (dying when faced with an irrecoverable error).

            This is why the "Problem Reports and Solutions" only provides information after conferring with MS. When it gives you an answer, it's because someone at MS took a look at your crash dump (or someone else's dump which exhibited the same problem), figured out the actual cause of the crash, and linked the crash and solution together. If it blamed the module automatically, you'd spend time harassing a perfectly innocent printer manufacturer, and MS would need to hire even more lawyers.

            (Disclaimer: Former MS employee, this is only what I was told)

      • ... the BSOD wouldn't still be being projected onto the roof!

  • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:28AM (#24568211)
    ... but for TV audience around the Globe, image was different, they used CG to convert BSOD into neato Compiz Cube animations.
  • by PJCRP ( 1314653 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:29AM (#24568215)
    10 points to the first person to can say what went wrong [] :U
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:29AM (#24568227)

    Visible computer glitches pop up in the most unexpected places these days. I went to a 25th anniversay screening of Wargames at a local theater recently. I wasn't even aware that I was in a digital theater until about halfway through the movie their server lost connection to the host and the movie theater screen suddenly turned into a giant Windows desktop. It was a little unnerving (I had thought I was looking at an actual film).

    I think it's something we will just get used to seeing in this increasingly digital age. I just hope I'm not driving down the street one day and see a "lost connection to server" message flashing on a stoplight.

  • Eh, so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 201 ( 578873 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:31AM (#24568267) Journal

    All computers crash - I've made Linux, BSD, OSX, and Solaris machines kernel panic. Hell, I've witnessed a newer zSeries mainframe crash.

    The fact that it happened at an inopportune moment is unfortunate, but that's life.

  • omg! Proof! (Score:5, Funny)

    by urcreepyneighbor ( 1171755 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:32AM (#24568283)

    We're living in the Matrix! And the Matrix runs Windows!

    No wonder my life is a pile of shit. :)

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:36AM (#24568361)
    Nelson (points finger at Bill Gates): haha

    Seriously where's the haha tag?
  • Faked (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:38AM (#24568407)
    I wonder if this was faked like the fireworks?
  • by ninjagin ( 631183 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:38AM (#24568419)
    Really, how big a deal is this? It's not uncommon to get a BSOD from time to time, and the number and power of the computing resources involved was probably pushing the limit. I'm not surprised and I don't think it's a big deal. The NBC people were practically falling all over themselves to find a flaw in the opening ceremonies, and if this is the biggest thing that surfaces, they went off flawlessly, imho. Who really cares about one little BSOD in such a huge spectacle, really?
    • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:53AM (#24568643) Homepage

      ...It's not uncommon to get a BSOD from time to time.

      And unless you do something about it, like vote with your wallet, you are simply helping Bill and his minions make bad engineering acceptable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darfeld ( 1147131 )

      I bet the guy in charge and the Chinese government don't see it your way.

      Glitch happens, but for ceremonies like this one, this isn't a little glitch. If people notice, it's bad, specially if you're trying to impress people.

    • "the number and power of the computing resources involved was probably pushing the limit"

      You mean just to project a video onto the roof. I've got an old 500MB, PC that can play DVDs without problem. It runs on Yoper [], you should try it, runs encrypted DVDs straight out of the box, no config issues.
  • BSOD? Big deal! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:48AM (#24568571) Journal
    The BSOD is just the icing on the cake of this story. The real interesting bit is the fact that Vista lost out again to the superiority of XP,...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:57AM (#24568703)

    They were Axon mediaservers running WinXP Embedded: []

    Some of the video projectors (70 of about 160 if I recall correctly) connected to those mediaservers were equipped with HES Orbital Head ( [] ), which can explain the odd positioning of BSOD.

  • by Coolhand2120 ( 1001761 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:02AM (#24568823)
    After a closer examination of the evidence it has come forth that the BSOD was actually CGI superimposed on the roof to make the U.S. audience viewing at home feel more familiar with Chinese technology. At selected venues around the world the BSOD was replaced with a kernel panic screen and even a Mac classic bomb.
  • by NimbleSquirrel ( 587564 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:21AM (#24569129)
    I'm surprised this was left unnoticed and was not shut down.

    I believe most of the projections were handled by HighEnd Systems DL2s and DL3s. Essentially a projector on a moving yoke, with a few extra features. Each DL2 or DL3 has its own built-in media server running Win XP Embedded.

    Even if the built-in media server fell over (which is what this looked like), there is still DMX control over the unit. Pan, tilt, focus and more importantly beam blanking and projector power are still controllable. It would have been easy to shut the faulty unit down and still carry on with the show (and yes, I do work with this kind of gear).

    On this scale of event, they would have had multiple operators dedicated to watching over particular areas in case of such a fault. It looks like someone wasn't paying attention.

  • When at the Olympics (Score:3, Informative)

    by wardk ( 3037 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:58AM (#24569823) Journal

    you perform your very best.

    lets face it, BSOD is the face of Windows.

    you cannot have Windows at a major event without it participating, by doing what it does best. just like the athletes.

  • by I'm Don Giovanni ( 598558 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:13PM (#24570959)

    They could've used Red Flag Linux for free. Was it not up to the task, period?

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @05:48PM (#24575559)
    I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft didn't view this as a great piece of PR. They've been trying to convince everyone that XP is old and busted and Vista is the hot newness. They want people switching to Vista, not sticking with XP. Now an Olympic official has gone on the record as saying that Vista wasn't good enough/stable enough for the opening ceremonies so they were going to use XP instead. They use XP, and they get a BSOD. Now Microsoft can just nod and sagely say "XP was a great OS for it's time, but as everyone knows it still has some bugs in it. If only they'd used the new and improved Vista OS then they could have avoided that unfortunate bit of unpleasantness."

    It doesn't matter if using Vista would have cost twice as much, taken three times as long to set up and resulted in four times as many errors during the opening ceremony. What people saw fail was XP, and that's what Microsoft will stress.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.